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North Korea's New Tallest Building and 'Green' Street Are Under Construction

The lure of architectural propaganda

It’s no secret that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un—like is father before him—uses construction projects to give the West an impression of prosperity and modernity. So, in the face of yet more sanctions, and pressure to shut down the country’s nuclear testing, North Korea is "standing up and keeping up with the world" by building a new set of green, high-rise apartments at breakneck speed.

According to the country’s state-sponsored media, Kim’s soldier-workers are building a new floor of the modern Ryomyong Street complex every 14 hours. The rapidly rising buildings sport banners encouraging builders to work at "Mallima Speed"—the speed of a mythical winged horse that travels supernaturally fast.

One of the new buildings—a 70-story apartment tower—will be the tallest in North Korea when completed. The entire complex is intended to be a "green street," drawing power from solar panels and geothermal energy. The buildings will also be topped with hydroponic greenhouses.

In all, the construction is slated to create 3,000 new apartments by the end of 2016. Though North Korea isn’t always known for staying on-track with its massive construction projects.